Tit for tat: Russian Federation mulls retaliation for USA sanctions

22 December, 2017, 02:14 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Kadyrov is a colorful character

"We consider these sanctions illegal, we consider them unfriendly, and we do not agree with them", said Peskov, who is President Vladimir Putin's chief spokesman. The Treasury Department said Kadyrov oversaw "disappearances and extrajudicial killings" and that he's believed to have ordered the killing of one of his political rivals. Kadyrov and Kataev are responsible for "gross violations of internationally recognized human rights", the department said. Under the Magnitsky Act, those on this list are barred from entering the country and any assets they hold in USA banks are frozen. Kadyrov switched sides during the second war and backed the Kremlin with his father, Akhmad, who was made leader of Chechnya until he was assassinated by militants in a bomb explosion in the capital, Grozny, in 2004. Ayub Katayev, a Chechen Interior Ministry was also sanctioned.

Kadyrov, however, has long denied the existence of gay men in the country, telling HBO reporter David Scott back in July that if they were present in Chechnya that he'd "take them far from us so we don't have them at home".

The Magnitsky Act is a human rights law that was passed by the US Congress and has been a major source of tension between Washington and Moscow, even before Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 sent bilateral relations spiraling.

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Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, has said he discussed the Magnitsky Act and the adoption law with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya past year during an unusual campaign-season meeting that has been examined as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Trump's campaign. The law expanded the power of the original Magnitsky act, which only targets Russian individuals for the same type of alleged abuses. After accusing Russian officials of carrying out a $230 million tax fraud, he was charged with tax evasion and put in prison, where he died in 2009 at 37.

The designations announced Wednesday bring the total number of individuals sanctioned under a 2012 law known as the Magnitsky Act to 49.

US citizens and residents also are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the sanctioned individuals.

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